Written by Stephanie Rodriguez. Media by Aaron Phillips. [divide]
On Friday, Sept. 18, Student Outreach hosted Back to School with the Simple Room – an event to introduce the Simple Room youth to GC students – in the Upper Union. Developing long-term relationships in college is fundamental for self-growth and companionship. GCSA’s Student Outreach does an exceptional job helping student’s develop relationships with the Greenville community.
Sophomore Kellie Steele, vice president of Student Outreach on GCSA, organized the event with the help of Junior Tori Paulin, the volunteer coordinator for the Simple Room. The event helped students participate in an activity that is flexible for their busy schedules without fully committing. Sophomore Maci Sepp, GCSA member, stated, “In the past, I’ve attended a few events on campus that involved the Simple Room, and I find it to be a great way for me to relax and spend time with the kids without over committing. Talking and doing activities with them is so refreshing, especially when you’re a college student who is constantly surrounded by adults. There’s no question that both the students and the kids benefit from this time together, whether it’s by coloring pictures, watching a movie, or playing a good old game of Battleship. With the kids, it’s easy to find joy in even the littlest of things.”
The afternoon began by providing some information to GC students before the kids arrived on campus, and then the fun began. After introductions were made, everyone spent some time together by getting to know one another while eating healthy snacks. The Simple Room youth were given an option to stay in the Upper Union or go to the Rec Center and play games; everyone divided into two groups. The following two hours were spent playing a variety of games and building relationships with each other.
Steele is delighted to partner with the Simple Room. She commented, “One of my goals as VP of Student Outreach on GCSA this year is to provide students with outreach opportunities that have the potential to turn into long-term relationships with the community. I got involved with the Simple Room as a freshman and I thought they would be the perfect organization to start working towards my goal with.”
Paulin believes the event was a complete success, she remarked, “We had new volunteers who got to experience the craziness of the Simple Room for the first time. I had the opportunity to talk to a few after and they said it was enjoyable and exciting to hang out with our kids.”
Paulin continued, “We have had many GC students who have been intentional with our kids not only inside the walls of the Simple Room but out in the community as well. It’s incredible to watch college students take time out of their busy schedules sand take a kid out for ice cream or attend their sporting event. I love watching GC students come into the Simple Room and watch a child run up to them yelling their name ready to receive a big hug. When a child remembers your name you are already making a difference in his or her life because you have given them a new friend. One of our main goals at the Simple Room is to build a discipling community. The positive influence the GC students are having on our kids leaves so much room for discipleship.”
Steele hopes after GC students have been introduced to the Simple room that they will continue to build those relationships by volunteering in the future. Steele added, “My current goal is to continue developing a close relationship with the Simple Room through volunteering myself and encouraging others to get involved as well. I will also be communicating with the Simple Room about how we can continue to support them, whatever form of support that may be.” Back to School with the Simple Room was just one of the exciting events held by Student Outreach and hopefully there are more events involving the Simple Room youth.